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2009年2月24日 (火)

社説:麻生内閣 「早く退陣を」が国民の声だ

(Mainichi Japan) February 23, 2009

Public crying out for Aso to resign

社説:麻生内閣 「早く退陣を」が国民の声だ

The approval rating for Prime Minister Taro Aso's Cabinet has dropped 8 points since January to 11 percent, a nationwide Mainichi Shimbun poll conducted on Saturday and Sunday has found. The low figure is comparable to the 9 percent support rating given to the governments of Noboru Takeshita and Yoshiro Mori late in their terms.

 毎日新聞が21、22日に実施した全国世論調査で麻生内閣の支持率は1月調査からさらに8ポイントも下落し、11%となった。竹下登内閣、森喜朗内閣のいずれも末期に記録した9%に匹敵する低い数字である。

The government and ruling coalition must especially take to heart the fact that 39 percent of those surveyed said that Prime Minister Aso "should step down right now," while another 39 percent said that Aso "should stay in office until the next fiscal budget is passed." This means that close to 80 percent of respondents are calling for Aso's early resignation. In other words, the public has already pretty much turned its back on the Aso government.

 とりわけ、政府・与党が深刻に受け止めなくてはならないのは、今回調査で麻生太郎首相は「今すぐ辞めるべきだ」と答えた人が39%、「来年度予算の成立まで続けるべきだ」と答えた人も同様に39%で、早期退陣を求める声が約8割に達した点だ。麻生内閣は既に国民からほとんど見放されているといっていい。

The reasons are obvious. Former Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa disgraced himself in front of the entire world with his incoherent behavior at a press conference, after which Aso was slow in taking action, perhaps from a desire to protect an ally.

 理由は指摘するまでもなかろう。中川昭一前財務・金融担当相が「もうろう会見」で世界に醜態をさらし、しかも、盟友をかばいたかったのか、麻生首相の対応も後手に回った。

It is only natural that 58 percent of survey respondents said "the prime minister is responsible" for appointing Nakagawa to the post of finance minister and state minister for financial services. Without a doubt, the embarrassing incident has led the public to question whether the country is going to be all right in the hands of a government severely lacking a sense of urgency and crisis.

 今回の調査で中川氏を財務・金融担当相に任命したことに対し58%の人が「首相に責任がある」と答えたのは当然だ。多くの国民はこの醜態を通じ、「緊張感や危機感を著しく欠いた麻生内閣で大丈夫か」と不安を感じたことだろう。

The public cannot be blamed for its increasing distrust of the prime minister. Some 73 percent of respondents said they do not support Aso, of which 44 percent claimed the reason was because "not much could be expected from the prime minister's leadership abilities," while 31 percent said that it was because "not much could be expected from the prime minister's policies." Asked whether Aso or Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) leader Ichiro Ozawa were appropriate for the post of prime minister, 25 percent -- the same as the previous survey -- chose Ozawa, while only 8 percent -- half the figure in the previous survey -- selected Aso.

 首相への不信感が強まるのは無理もない。「支持しない」と答えた73%の人たちのうち、44%が「首相の指導力に期待できないから」、31%が「首相の政策に期待できないから」と回答した。民主党の小沢一郎代表と麻生首相のどちらが首相にふさわしいかの質問では、小沢氏が前回と変わらず25%だったのに対し、首相は前回から半減してわずか8%だった。

Seventy-three percent of those surveyed oppose the government's cash handout plan, a key element of Aso's economic policies. Those close to the prime minister say they expect public opinion on the cash handouts to shift once the handouts are distributed. But at this point, the government probably just can't find the means to launch a counterattack to the criticism.

 経済政策の目玉・定額給付金も依然、73%の人が「評価しない」と答えている。首相周辺は「実際に給付されれば評価は変わる」と期待するが、もはや政権が反転攻勢に転じるすべもあまり見当たらないというのが実情ではなかろうか。

Even within the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), there are voices publically calling for Aso's resignation. They contend that if Aso is in power, the party cannot expect to win a majority in the House of Representatives when a general election is held, and as such, a replacement is necessary. The problem is, the LDP can't seem to find any suitable candidates to replace Aso. At this rate, there's a real danger that an in-party conflict indifferent to the general public's needs will drag out. This would be the most unfortunate development for ordinary citizens.

 自民党内でも、公然と「麻生降ろし」が語られ始めている。麻生首相のもとでは衆院選は戦えない。よって再び首相交代を、ということのようだ。だが、「ポスト麻生」候補が簡単に見つからないというのもまた事実だ。このままでは国民不在の党内対立だけが漫然と続く可能性が大きい。これが国民にとっては最も不幸な展開である。

Support for the LDP remains, as with the previous survey, at a low 20 percent, widening the gap between that and the 29 percent approval rating for the DPJ. Surely the public is scrutinizing the irresponsibility of the LDP, which has repeatedly replaced prime ministers without seeking voters' input, and now that government approval ratings have plunged, the party is attempting to distance itself from the prime minister. A call to replace the prime minister because he poses a risk to the party's victory in a general election does not take voters' needs into account at all.

 自民党の支持率は前回と同じ20%の低水準で、29%となった民主党にさらに差を広げられた。有権者の信を問うことなく、首相交代を続け、支持率が下がると人ごとのように離反する自民党の無責任さにも国民は厳しい目を注いでいるはずだ。そもそも「自分の選挙が危ういから首相交代を」ということ自体、国民不在というべきだ。

As the recession grows more serious by the day, the public is quickly losing patience. In order to establish a government that has the public's confidence, Aso should promptly dissolve the House of Representatives and hold a general election. That is what "politics for the people" is about.

 経済状況が日増しに深刻になる中、国民の我慢も限界に近づいている。国民に信任された政権をつくるため、早急に衆院を解散し、総選挙を行うよう再度求めておく。それが「国民のため」の政治である。

毎日新聞 2009223日 東京朝刊

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